Audio clip of Najib speaking about these issues
KUALA TERENGGANU, 6 Jan 2009: Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the Barisan Nasional (BN) was ready to answer all issues raised by the opposition in the 17 Jan Kuala Terengganu by-election.
The deputy prime minister said BN, however, did not expect many issues to be raised in the by-election which will be contested by Umno, PAS and an independent candidate.
Najib said the opposition was presently under increasing pressure to use national issues and this showed that they were running out of local issues to raise.
“Possibly in this by-election, the focus will be on local issues. But if they raise national issues, BN is prepared to answer them,” he told reporters after the nomination of candidates for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat contest at the State Stadium, here, today.
The by-election will see BN candidate, Umno’s Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh contesting against PAS’s Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut and an independent candidate, Azharudin Mamat @ Adam.
The by-election is being held following the death of incumbent Kuala Terengganu MP Datuk Razali Ismail on 28 Nov 2008. In the 12th general election last March, Razali won with a majority of 628 votes.
Najib, who is also Umno deputy president, said the opposition’s action in playing up the issue of murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu in Kuala Terengganu was totally irrelevant to the by-election.
“If they bring in this issue, it means they are bankrupt of issues,” he said.
In a related development, Najib said BN would use a people-friendly approach with “BN is People-Friendly” as the campaign theme, making the people the ruling coalition’s focus in the by-election.
“I am stressing this people-friendly concept as it reflects what BN is doing. Our target group is no other than the people. They are our prime concern in carrying out our projects and programmes,” he said.
On the BN by-election machinery, Najib said BN had specifically divided the tasks among its wings.
“We will work hard to inform everyone that the policy of serving the people is the best policy. The support shown by many people today is a positive beginning for us.
“However, we don’t want to be too confident as we don’t have a crystal ball. But we believe that we will win well. That is our target and we will do our best to achieve it,” he said.
On the issue played up by the opposition that the federal government would give generous allocations and carry out various projects whenever there was an election, Najib said the government was only fulfilling a responsibility as many requests would be made by the people in the run-up to the elections.
“As a government, we have a duty to serve the people. It’s just that we are more focused during this by-election, but other areas are also given attention,” he added. — Bernama